Current global transportation pipeline infrastructure stretches across over three million km. Pipeline companies invest up to $40 billion a year to expand networks and maintain their assets, but they are increasingly challenged by aging infrastructure, IT systems complexity and capabilities to leverage growing amounts of data. It is estimated that less than 25% of the data generated for any given pipeline is used to formulate data-driven decisions.
This paper looks at the challenges facing the industry and explores how new technologies connecting assets, data and people can help address specific pipeline issues such as:
• Asset safety and reliability
• Limited and siloed data
• Processes highly dependent on people and aging workforce
• Increased regulation & public scrutiny
In this paper we will draw on research and development conducted by General Electric and Accenture in collaboration with one of the largest pipeline operators in the United States, providing examples that demonstrate the benefits new digital technologies and data analytics can bring to pipeline management. We will identify new technology and analytics applications that now help pipeline companies take advantage of the massive amounts of data generated through business operations, including secure data integration and modern visualization technologies, risk management capabilities and decision support tools. Finally, we will discuss innovations in inspection, sensing and remote monitoring capabilities that can be leveraged by the Intelligent Pipeline Solution to deliver enhanced outcomes to operators.
With the adoption of the intelligent pipeline solution, operators can unlock quantitative benefits in asset maintenance, productivity and throughput optimization, as well as qualitative benefits in risk management, safety and knowledge transfer. As a result, they will be able to better identify and mitigate risk while optimizing their operations and efficiently allocating valuable resources when and where needed.